How To Set The Time & Date On A WatchSearch this site for. Bulova Serial numbers indicating production dates. Buy Watches. Company History. Date your watch. Dating your Accutron is really quite a simple procedure.
No need to worry about long serial numbers on these! The code consists of one letter and one number, eg. They used the letter M to signify the decade to the end ofand the letter N to indicate to the end of The digit represents the actual year in that decade. Therefore, M7 is interpreted as It is possible that you may have a watch in which the date code on the movement is different to the date code on the case. That is common, however, it has been known to never seen an original watch that had a variation of more than one year.
If you see one that has three or more years difference in the date codes, I suggest that the watch has been re-cased or made from 2 separate watches. This probably doesn't really matter unless you are a serious collector and are only interested in completely original items.
Of further assistance in determining the date of these watches may be the movement caliber, if one is printed on the movement.
Consultation with online movement lists may provide at least ballpark information regarding the date of the watch. For one such movement list visit Bulova Movements.
However, it is important to note that all such movement lists are based on observations of examples rather than any official Bulova documentation. So, the lists may be incomplete and even inaccurate to the extent that they contain information on movements that are not on-hand and available for examination and verification.
For purposes of assigning a date, Bulova watches break down nicely into three basic groups: 1) pre, 2) through , and 3) and beyond. How to Date a Bulova Watch. Throughout the decades since the company's founding, Bulova produced pieces that represented many of the latest and greatest. The following tables will help you date your vintage Bulova watch. Watches dated post have a 2 alpha-numeric date code on the outside backcase, whilst.
I have recently begun to develop a theory regarding certain "markers' that may help us identify the date--at least with a reasonable degree of certainty--of these very early watches.
Dating a watch this way requires opening the case and noting every detail of the movement and case and then comparing those details to the list below to see where the watch best fits in the timeline.
Brief history of the Bulova Watch Company including Date Codes and Date Symbols. Also includes information about the Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking. Starting in , Bulova used a simple date code for its watches. There will be a 2 character code. The first character will be a letter indicating the decade. Discover men's watches from Bulova. From Automatic to high performance Quartz watches, we are committed to advancing the art of watchmaking. Bulova.
It is important to note that the conclusions conveyed below are based primarily on ladies' models, as we have very few examles of men's watches dating prior to Another fact to consider is the still relatively small data set for this time period. Though we have far more of these early watches than we did a year ago, we still have relatively few upon which to base conclusions.
No doubt, some aspects of these conclusions will change over time as more examples are collected. For anyone interested in reviewing the data upon which, in part, these observations were based, visit Watch Data - Early advertisements also support these conclusions and can be found at - Dating a Bulova watch becomes quite a bit easier beginning with models manufactured in At that time, Bulova started using with regularity standard date codes on the movement.
Additionally, in many instances, the case serial number on these later models can be used as a date reference. For models manufactured beforethere is typically no date code on the case itself though there are exceptions seen in the later s.
Dating a caravelle watch
However, as stated, the case serial number can often be used to date the case, while the movement code indicates the date the movement was made. Thus, most watches have two manufacture dates, providing a useful tool for determining whether a particular case and its movement were originally intended to be paired. The movement code is a small symbol, such as a square, circle, or triangle, which corresponds to a particular year within each decade.
Date your Bulova watch by using this list of bulova serial numbers used between. 's Bulova develops a dating system for their watches. A letter followed by a number indicates the year of manufacture. L4=, M7=, N2= and so . I recently found one of my Grandfather's watches. He passed away over 10 years ago and while I'm sure it is isn't super old, I'd still like to find.
For example, a triangle may indicate, or The full list of date codes is available at Bulova Date Codes. Similarly, the date of the case often can be partially determined by the case serial number.
That is, the first digit of the serial number indicates the year of manufacture within each decade, with some exceptions, which are explained in more detail at the end of this section.
For example, a pre watch with a case serial number starting with "1" would indicate, or It is important to note that both the movement code and the case serial number provide only a year within a decade, but they do not give any clue as to the correct decade. Instead, the appropriate decade must be determined by examining the style of the watch in light of the styles of each decade. Below is an example of a watch, where the year of manufacture has been determined using both the symbol on the movement and the matching serial number, along with an examination of the watch's characteristics.
Important factors in identifying the proper decade of the watch's manufacture based on it styling include the size and shape of the case, engraving placement and patterns, dial and hand designs, and movement calibers. A very good place to study styles by decade is right here on Watchophilia. The large collection is organized by decade, and all watches for a given decade can be viewed together on one page, making it easy to scan the page and note the styles used during that time period.
Becoming familiar with other examples and with the available advertisements will also help determine when elements, such as dials, hands, and straps, are not original to the watch and should not be considered when determining the date.
The only way to know which decade applies to the watch at hand is by careful study of available resources, including vintage advertisements and actual watches. Matching the elements of the watch to a particular decade becomes easier over time, as more watches are studied and compared to the available advertisements. Another factor to consider in dating a pre watch is whether there is a serial number printed on the movement, as, for the most part, Bulova stopped that practice after A few strays with serial numbers have been observed through the mids, but by far the majority of movements made after do not have a serial number.
So, if your movement has a serial number, you can probably narrow down the date of the movement to at least pre, and, quite likely, even to pre As with all things Bulova-related, there are exceptions to the rule, and a few pre movements have been observed without serial numbers, particularly in the 10AN caliber movements.
So, the existence or non-existence of a serial number is just one of many factors to be considered when dating a watch. All factors discussed here should be considered together to make the best possible date assessment. Fortunately, dating a Bulova watch gets much easier in and beyond. Before we move on to the s, we need to consider exceptions to the serial number method of dating a Bulova watch.
I hinted earlier in this section of the discussion that there were exceptions to the rule that the first digit of the case serial number indicates the date of manufacture for watches made from through There are actually at least five currently known exceptions to that rule, and the list keeps growing as more watches are studied.
For models dated and beyond--and even some made in the late s--Bulova printed a two character date code on both the case and the movement. Typically, the case date code is found on the outside of the case back, but sometimes it is located inside the case back.spacerook.com: BULOVA 96C002 Crystal Day-Date Men's Watch
For example, the code "L3" indicateswhile the code "M4" indicates A list of the known codes can be found at Bulova Date Codes. Note that the full date chart includes variations of two-character codes sometimes seen on watches as early as Bythis practice was becoming more common, and by is was the norm.
Below are examples of this style of date code on the movement and case. Ideally, the date of the movement will match the date of the case. Occasionally, however, that is not the case. In those circumstances, I subscribe to the "latest date wins" theory only when the case and movement are dated within one year of each other.
If more than one year separates the movement and the case, for me, the case date rules. The reason for that limitation is that movements can, and often are, replaced when the original one breaks. Therefore, any watch with a movement dated more than one year later than the case is assumed to be a replacement movement.
For all watches in my collection, the movement date is noted for the record, even if it was not used to date the watch.
Brief History: Bulova Watch Company
I do believe that the case is by far the most important factor in determining both the date and model of the watch, and all other factors are to be considered but do not necessarily control the outcome, because all other factors--movements, hands, dials--can be changed. When purchasing a watch, I check both the case and movement date, and if they are more than one year apart, I assume that the movement is not original to the case.
When selling a watch, it is very important to accurately date both the movement and the case and to inform potential buyers of that information. A watch that has mismatched parts should be fully disclosed as such.
I have a few examples where the watch has neither a movement code nor a case serial number. One such example is a very early, solid gold model. So, it has problems being identified, both because it is very early and because it is solid gold see above for problems with serial numbers and solid gold cases as well as early movements with no date code.